Since 1999

Raju Bhartan started it all by estimating 25,000 in Filmfare, March 12, 1971.
You can see lots of websites and youtube videos claiming 60,000, I will not give links.

Rest of the timeline:

1980,January: Hamraaz published his HFGK Volume 3 (1951-60), Hindi films only. It was found that even Asha had sung more than her, and 25,000 number is very questionable.
1986, May: Hamraaz published Volume 4 (1961-70) after publishing Volume 2 (1941-50) in February 1984. Even more clear that the number is a huge overestimate.
1987: Punita Bhatt in Filmfare June 1. She added up all the numbers from Volumes 2, 3 and 4 (1945-70) to get 3,272 Hindi film songs for Lata. She emphasized that non-filmi and non-Hindi numbers are not available.
1989, October: Vishwas Nerurakar published his famous book on Lata. He got 5,066 from 1945-1989, Hindi film songs only.
1997, August: Snehasis Chatterjee published the first volume of his monumental work on ALL Lata songs of any kind by publishing the lyrics and information of all her Bengali songs, filmi and non-filmi. He lists 204 Bengali songs, now revised to 225.
2014: Suman Chaurasiya published his Lata Smagra with Lata songs filmi, non-filmi, version songs, ALL languages. He lists 6,541.
2022: Snehasis has published 11 volumes so far, 4 more to come. He has covered 5,160 songs. His estimate is that the total number including ALL of them would be about 7,200 (all songs in all 38 languages).

So the Ground Truth: Maximum 7,200.

Now You Know!

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